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How to Fix a Tripping GFCI Outlet for a Freezer or Refrigerator

By Dave Rongey - Summary:

My freezer lost power, do I have a bad GFCI receptacle? Problems with GFCI Outlets for Freezers and How to Fix Them.

GFCI Outlet for a Freezer or Refrigerator

Electrical Question: My freezer lost power, do I have a bad GFCI receptacle?

Thanks in advance for your help.

This electrical wiring question came from Bill, in Slagle, Missouri.

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical wiring question Bill.

Guide for Repairing a GFCI Problem for a Freezer or Refrigerator

Application: GFCI Outlet for a Freezer or Refrigerator.
Skill Level: Beginner to Intermediate – Best if wired by a Licensed Electrical Contractor.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools and a Voltage Tester.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience, ability to work with tools and the number of GFI outlets that will be installed.
Precaution: Identify the affected outlet circuits at the electric panel, turn them OFF and Tag it with a Note before working with the outlet wiring.
Materials: Make sure to use materials of the same amperage and voltage rating as the electrical circuit.
Notice: Installing additional GFCI Outlet Wiring should be done according to local and national electrical GFCI Codes with a permit and be inspected.

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2 Responses to “How to Fix a Tripping GFCI Outlet for a Freezer or Refrigerator”
  1. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi Thomas,
    Please note that NEC Article 426.28 has reference to ‘fixed outdoor electric deicing and snow melting equipment’.

    With reference to the main article about Tripping GFCI Outlets please note the following update: In the past the National Electrical Code allowed an exception to the problem of a tripping GFCI outlet at a freezer or refrigerator, however GFCI outlets are now required in these areas without exception. If there is a nuisance tripping problem with an older GFCI then the solution would be to replace it with a new GFCI outlet.

    Thank you for your observation!
    I hope this helps,

  2. Thomas G says:

    I have heard from electricians about a readily accessible exception for GFCI protection. Exception to (3) Receptacles that are not readily accessible and are supplied by a dedicated branch circuit for electric snow-melting or deicing equipment shall be permitted to be installed in accordance with 426.28.
    I think the statement is only being read halfway through as it does not state receptacles that are not readily accessible OR are supplied by a dedicated branch circuit…
    Is there another exception in the NEC which allows dedicated circuits or receptacle outlets that are not readily accessible to be installed without ground fault protection?